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Seattle Tech Veterans Adam Brotman and Andy Sack Raise $10M for Web3 Startup After Advising Starbucks NFT Project – GeekWire

Forum3 co-CEO Adam Brotman (left) and co-CEO Andy Sack. (Photo from forum 3)

Two longtime Seattle-area tech leaders are teaming up in a new startup to sell NFT-based customer engagement technology to consumer companies.

Former Starbucks executive Adam Brotman and startup investor Andy Sack have raised $10 million for Forum3.

The new funding comes after co-CEOs Brotman and Sack recently advised Starbucks on the launch of Starbucks Odyssey. This is the coffee giant’s new NFT initiative that allows Starbucks Rewards members to earn and buy collectible digital stamps, then buy and sell them on the marketplace. Other members of the loyalty program.

Through its technology platform, Forum3 plans to work with brands to remove the usual friction associated with blockchain technology, such as having a crypto wallet or owning cryptocurrencies. Users can participate in the company’s customer loyalty her platform using credit cards and phones. The goal is to sell his white label version of Odyssey to other consumer brands, Sack told GeekWire.

The startup plans to target medium to large-sized companies across a range of industries, including consumer goods, hospitality, and travel. Generate revenue through licenses, royalties and other service fees. Sack said Forum3 will be “chain-agnostic.” This means that it will eventually work with any type of blockchain platform.

The startup’s first project was a three-stage NFT “drop” with author and screenwriter Ben Mezrich, which also helped collaborate with the Boston Globe. Then, in April, Starbucks executives reached out and Forum3 became Odyssey’s strategic advisor.

There are many players in the Web3 loyalty space advising brands and individuals on NFT-based loyalty technology. Hang recently raised $16 million and works with brands like Budweiser and Bleacher Report. Sack said his and his Brotman’s experience and connections will allow Forum3 to compete.

“I believe the use cases we are working with on blockchain will become the primary consumer use cases for blockchain,” he told GeekWire.

Sack co-founded Seattle-based seed-stage investment fund Founders’ Co-op and then led Techstars Seattle for five years, one cohort spawning three unicorns. He then worked with Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, as a consultant on Innovation and Digital He Transformation. Most recently, he invested in, his venture fund for blockchain.

Brotman is the former Chief Digital Officer of Starbucks, where he helped build the Starbucks mobile app, which now fulfills more than a quarter of the company’s orders. He is also the former CEO and current Chairman of Brightloom, a startup that helps businesses transform customer data into personalized marketing campaigns.

“We know how to work with big brands,” says Sack. “Our platform has aspects that are very different from the standard players in this space.”

Blockchain startups have struggled to secure funding this year, part of a broader market downturn and negative headlines looming over the crypto space. Venture capitalists invested just $4.44 billion in crypto-related companies in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg reported, down 37% from the same period last year.

The rapid collapse of giant digital asset exchange FTX last month has also caused an epidemic in the cryptocurrency industry.

Sack said some people are “constructing Ponzi schemes and scams around cryptocurrencies and these tokens that are doing nothing in the world.”

“It’s all somewhere in left field,” he said. “We’re in a completely different space, far away. We have a real business case.”

The funding round was led by Decasonic, with participation from Bloccelerate, Liberty City Ventures and Arca. Other investors include Polygon Ventures and Valor Siren Ventures.

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